Elan FryarLVI (Year 12) student Elan has had a most successful few weeks in Music. Just before Half Term, she passed her Grade 8 singing with Distinction and a total score of 136/150, an excellent achievement; last Thursday, she was awarded the Sir Bryn Terfel Song Prize for the third year running, against stiff competition from students in LV-UVI and also last week she learned that an essay she had entered into the Newnham College Cambridge Music Essay Competition had been awarded a Highly Commended certificate. Elan will be applying to read Music at university next term and we wish her every success.

Here are Elan's thoughts on the Newnham College Cambridge Music Essay Competition:

"The 2021 Newnham essay prize is a competition for Year 12 female students in a UK school, with prizes offered for a range of subjects including Archaeology, Medicine, Philosophy, Engineering and Music. The Music Essay Prize is designed to give students the opportunity to think and write about music in its broadest context, and 3 possible essay titles were provided by Newnham College. As I am particularly interested in music’s relevance in the world, I chose the following title - ‘What can learning about the history of other musical cultures teach you about you own musical culture(s)?’

In my essay, I explored topics such as the concept of music in cultures around the world, the words used in different languages to represent music and how learning about the music of other cultures can enhance our overall appreciation of music. I also commented on the importance of thinking globally and how we should not refer to all music other than our own as ‘world music’, and that it is by learning about the history of other musical cultures that we can contextualise our own and allow for comparisons with others. I really enjoyed the opportunity to broaden my musical outlook, and the essay allowed me to consider the influences we have around us and those that have shaped our very being. I was awarded Highly Commended for my essay which was a very exciting email to receive!"